Dolphins vs. Browns: 5 Reasons Miami Will Win Its First Game
Miami's matchup with the Cleveland Browns is as close to a must-win game as it gets in Week 3.
The Dolphins have yet to have a complete game on both sides of the ball, losing convincingly to both the New England Patriots and Houston Texans. The Browns managed to notch their first victory against the Colts last Sunday, after losing by ten to the Bengals in Week 1.
As the saying goes, a desperate team is a dangerous team.
Here's how the Dolphins pull out a much needed victory in Cleveland.
The Dolphins Are Road Warriors
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After losing 11 of their last 12 at home, the Dolphins are ecstatic to get away from Sun Life Stadium. The private jet and room service lifestyle boded well for last year’s squad, finishing with a 6-2 record on the road.
The Dolphins should be in fine form with the 12th man in the Browns favor. Their road success indicates that the Dawg Pound won’t influence them in their first road contest.
They Will Follow the Cincinnati Bengal’s Blueprint from Week 1
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The Bengals were not a popular upset pick against the Browns in the opening week and they pulled out an improbable victory in Cleveland. In the process, they uncovered the winning formula to beating this Browns team.
Run the ball and when that does not work, run the ball some more.
When the Bengals ran it on the ground, Cedric Benson looked like Emmitt Smith reincarnated . He wore down Cleveland’s inexperienced front seven in the second half until the final whistle blew.
Enter Daniel Thomas, the Dolphin’s rookie who debuted with a 100-yard rushing day against Houston will look to do the same against the Browns.
Look for Miami to unleash the rookie in between the tackles and wear down this Browns defense. Success with Thomas will open up the play-action for this Dolphin offense and make Chad Henne’s job a little easier.
Because the Browns Can’t Exploit Vontae Davis’s Absence
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Dolphin fans shuddered when word came out that Vontae Davis would be out for this Sunday’s matchup. Luckily, Cleveland’s receiving core doesn’t have much firepower to scare Sean Smith and company.
I don’t see an Andre Johnson or Wes Welker. The combination of Nolan Carroll, Will Allen and newly-acquired Nate Jones should be able to hold their own.
Also, the Browns will look to the running game to lead the offense down the field, putting less pressure on Miami’s backups. They will be able to right the ship without Davis.
Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor Will Wreck Havoc on the Brown’s Right Side
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Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor made last Sunday a tough day against Houston’s offensive front, knocking Matt Schaub down eight times and sacking him three. Both players also had a sack.
Browns right tackle Tony Pashos has had a tough time keeping Colt McCoy’s jersey clean, and now is questionable for this week. If he can’t go, the Browns are left with meager options to replace him.
Even if Pashos can go on a bum ankle, look for Mike Nolan to key in on Cincinnati’s right side, with Wake and Taylor pressuring the edge all game
Colt McCoy Is Not Tom Brady or Matt Schaub. Not Even Close.
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After facing two established quarterbacks in their opening two games, the Dolphins finally face a young quarterback who is trying to establish himself into the ranks.
Look, I’m a big fan of Texas’s golden boy myself. Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur has set up a spread attack that fits perfectly with his skill set and indicates future success.
But facing the Dolphins in a must-win game, McCoy will really have to grow up fast to prevent a Miami victory.
Miami’s emphasis on stopping the run will force McCoy to beat them with his play making ability. But is he ready for that moment? Who’s going to be on the receiving end?
I’m not even sure that McCoy has answers.